Biometrics In Education: Preserving Integrity In Online Learning

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by Pearson Learning Solutions9

The time-honored hierarchy of technology access security has always been:

-something you have (a physical key)
-something you know (a username/password)
-something you are (a fingerprint)

When it comes to education, academic integrity has always been of the utmost concern.  How can we be sure that students who are taking (and passing!) tests are actually who they say they are? Student identity verification is more challenging in the online learning environment than in a face-to-face environment.  Many programs still rely on the typical username/password protection.  Others have implemented live remote proctoring via webcam, despite a number of logistical, financial, and in some cases legal challenges related to doing so.

Biometrics going mainstream via the iPhone 5S holds a lot of promise, not just for the owners of high-tech gadgets, but for academia as well. With Propero, our self-paced, online learning service, students in select courses will soon be asked to verify their identity by drawing a password using their mouse, stylus or touchscreen.  This gesture biometrics technology works on any device (just as our students do!) and analyzes not just what is drawn, but how it’s drawn, including speed, angle, height, width and direction.

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